© Hans Peter Van Velthoven / muse.mu
Trio, who won over millions of fan hearts, rocked hundreds of stages all over the world and can be considered one of the most exceptional and expressive. Three high school friends Matthew Bellamy (lead vocals, lead guitar, piano, keyboards, lyrics), Dominic James Howard (drums, percussion) and Christopher Tony Wolstenholme (base, back vocals) are not the usual type of rockers: their music contains a lot of experimentation. Alternative rock often mixes up with symphonic and progressive rock or electronica, while the unusual sound is enriched by sticking lyrics.
Studying in Teigmouth College boys played in different bands, in a town where no significant nightlife or musical background existed. Matthew and Dominic played in a duet band called ‟Gothic Plague,” when Christopher joined the band called themselves ‟Rocket baby dolls.” Gothic-styled, long- haired rebels considered music to be the only form of self-expression, in a place ‟where was nothing else to do.” ‟We did not start playing professionally until we were like 21, those first years were crazy times, we were playing in people’s houses, and weird little rented out sports halls. Mainly we were doing it to get girls, which worked, I got to say” Matthew shares. However, the loose attitude changed after winning a local band contest, latter the decision of pursuing serious career and the change of name followed. That is how in 1994-1995 the band MUSE formed.
The debut studio album‟Showbiz” (1999) consists of alternative rock as well as softer ballad songs and influences of jazz, blues, Latin and classical music. The songs like ‟Muscle Museum,” ‟Cave,” ‟Uno,” ‟Unintended,” are the ones still being requested by enormous crowds.
‟Origin of Symmetry” (2001) is the second studio album reflecting a bit more edgy ideas. The use of vocal variations, organ, and different percussion instruments proved the album to be more experimental and was explained as aiming to ‟to show the harder rock and eccentric elements of the band.”
The third album ‟Absolution” (2003) has the influences of classics like Sergei Rachmaninovor Samuel Barber as well as electronic or guitar-dominated songs. The biggest hits are ‟Time Is Running Out,” ‟Stockholm Syndrome,” ‟Hysteria,” ‟Butterflies and Hurrycanes.” To promote the new album band held a concert in ‟Glastombury” festival of 2004, the performance they all together claimed to be ‟the best gig of our lives.” Unfortunately, the joy was overshadowed by a sudden death of Dominic’s father. William Howard came to see his son play, and died from a heart attack shortly after the show.
In 2006 Muse released their fourth album called ‟Black Holes and Revelations.” The topics of science fiction and political anger dominate. The influence of classical music is not as intense as before while the melodies contain bits of soul, jazz and R&B. In the interview for ‟Q” magazine Matthew explains, ‟Black holes and revelations – they’re the two areas of songwriting for me that make up the majority of this album. A revelation about yourself, something personal, something genuine of an everyday nature that maybe people can relate to. Then the black holes are these songs that are from the more … unknown regions of the imagination.”
The fifth album ‟The Resistance” (2009) won ‟Grammy” for the ‟Best rock album” in 2011.
The latest album ‟The 2nd Law” surprised many loyal fans, and was described as ‟radically different” by the band members. Matthew calls the album an experiment: ‟I think we are going back to where we have started. We have done a lot of experimentation with these weird things and it was good to sort of basically remind us that you cannot beat the base, guitar and drums.” The single ‟Survival” was specially created for the London Olympic games 2012.
The masters of live show
It is hard to find any band that can compete with Muse when it comes to live performances. Lights, lasers, acrobats, huge screens are the regular attributes no matter if it is a festival or an arena show. The unforgettable spectacle of sound and view encourages fans to pay decent amounts of cash just to see their rock heroes. When ‟Forbes” magazine included Muse in a list of ‟The world’s 25 Highest-Paid Musicians” stating the stunning earnings of 35 million US dollars per year, Matthew just reminded everyone to consider the huge amounts of money the band devotes to their production of the shows.
Energetic, charismatic and always honest in their performances and their music, Muse is the band worth listening and seeing.